Planer thicknesser fixed

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Does anyone knows where we can rent a guide dog to assist the wood techs next time they try to re-assembl a machine ?



Caveat - we need to order a new belt for it, so there will need to be one more minor intervention before we get it up to full power.

But! It works, and works pretty well.


Well done! that’s great news



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Good news!

Great work and big thank you!

Question for everyone - What’s the plan/process to kick in next time a big tool breaks down? it took 18,19 months, 1.5 years to get it fixed! Something in our decision making processes is not functioning for that to happen.

What lessons have we learned so we can prevent a repeat outage lasting months and years?

I think it would be useful to find a non-member that can do machine maintenance/repairs on emergency. So if something breaks and it can’t be easily fixed my a member we call “the expert” and get it fixed it it’s below a certain amount.

@Clix is meeting a machine maintainer very very soon to address this and similar issues

This was a very complex fix that needed a combination of deep skills and people with the time to look. Any commercial organisation would have binned the machine…
This is just part of being a community space, It’s not all going to happen in 24hrs.

Be interesting to see what a toolmaker would have made if it. Probably would have recommend binning it as well…



some incorrectly installed spacers from what I heard

It might have been a spacer in the wrong place, but a lot of other work was done on it as well .

Yes you are right.

It would have been written off

People break stuff and people downgrade stuff when trying to improve stuff and sometimes people make things better. And sometimes we just talk about it forever on this page .

That is the nature of the makerspace.

I can’t imagine that any professional fitter would put up with our BS , I would not if you were paying me …

The thing to do is put one and put them in absolute change of doing a job , because the hardest part of doing anything in the space is the politics.


haha we should print and frame that or at least put it on the home page : )

@Courty I’'m all for make do and mending and saving material from landfill. Mentioning 24hrs paints a false picture and misunderstood the post. No one expected, or expects, repairs in 24hrs. But it is perfectly reasonable to seek repairs within 1.5 years, or 1 year, or 6 months.

"Be interesting to see what a toolmaker would have made if it. " - we never tried so we’ll never know - i guess I’m asking if we can agree a time limit that if we cannot fix a big tool item in X weeks, we then look at a toolmaker coming in or buy a replacement. The former seems clix is looking into it. The time limit for the latter be worth debating.

As example, assuming 300 members, £20/month and £2500 for a new planer/thicknesser - a new one would have cost 46 pence/member for the 18 months - I think 46p a month is reasonable, dont you?

And we’d have new planar thicknesser that if it did break down in the future (beyond its warranty) would be much easier to fix in house (easier spare parts availability) or by outside toolmaker/engineer.

Hats off to Joe, Mark, Jonty, Ed et all for fixing it - I’m not criticising their efforts at all. With hindsight 46 pence a month for a new planar/thicknesser versus hours and hours of tech time/discourse posts, 1.5yrs without major tool - we definitely made life harder for ourselves.

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Sorry but a £2500 planner thikniser would last 10 minutes in there before it fell to bits , diy tools do not do well in our workshop

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Just going roughly by what was recomended in another post as a possible replacement.

Even a £5000 unit would 92pence a month. And a £10,000 £1.84 a month (both over the 18month period).

Still worth it in my books but hey ho.

We broke a Wadkins it didn’t die of old age , we would equally brake a 10 grand new one .

A new one every six months would be expensive

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How was it broken / What broke it?

I don’t believe we’d break one every 6 months. If you truly believe that lets pack up shop and go home .

I am not going to get into how it got broken, but safe to say it was stupid at a epic level .

I think that you are looking down the telescope through the wrong end .

If you can figger out a way to explain to ALL members that the when smoke comes out of a machine it should be turned off and investigated then you will have solved the problem.

Until someone comes along with a new higher strength stupid.

But that’s the nature of a makerspace, and it’s ok , we are hear to enable people to make and finding the odd jam sandwich poked into the VCR is part of the course.

It’s a Wadkins it is a battleship of a thing a 10 grand one is not going to be any any stronger

Part of the issue (we think) is that when it came to us the spacers on one end were installed incorrectly (which is why sometimes it was a bit of a pain to feed through). Then when it was put back together the incorrect installation was copied on the second end.

Worth noting that about ten months of the repair was getting the motor rewound, which entailed pulling the entire damn thing apart multiple times. We also struggled with lack of support from the manufacturer, who no longer make these.

Also worth nothing that this thing runs as well if not better than the modern ones I’ve played with, and it much more robust (see previous comments about use and abuse). I would be more comfortable continuing to use something like this than forking out for a modern one, knowing what we’d inevitably spend on parts.

It really does feed like a dream now. Once we have the new belts on it we can start processing stuff in earnest.